Various Artists – The Goup -The Noup Gorge Remixes-

The Noup’s 2018 album Flaming Psychic Heads was one of the most exciting Japanese noise-rock albums of the past few years, combining twisted, distorted guitar slashes with relentless panzer rhythms. This album of remixes (and what looks like one straight out cover) comes courtesy of the Gorge.In label, Japan’s premier and only merchants of gorge, the mountaineering-inspired, tom-heavy club music style that originated in the mountains of Nepal and definitely isn’t a made-up genre invented in Tokyo eight years ago (and who cares if it is: genres are just words, and all words had to be made up at some point). What matters here, in any case, is that the heavy, tribal beats that characterise gorge are a good match for the ferocious beats and shouting of The Noup’s music, these remixes retaining the originals’ energy while stripping back the guitars, loosening up the tightly wound rhythms and pushing drums and percussion to the fore. What this album also helps to highlight is the way Japan’s underground club subcultures and the noisier, experimental fringes of the punk and alternative rock scenes are becoming increasingly intertwined in a way that’s often rough-edged, raw, sometimes cheap and lo-fi sounding, and with a punkish energy of its own.

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